Archive for January, 2008

People really do click buttons

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 | Tech

Ok, this is just a general heads-up.

You know those “this is valid HTML” buttons that W3C offer? Don’t put them on your site unless you actually have valid HTML. Because people do actually click them.

I’ve just been reading down the Union’s referendum site and they have no less than 5 errors on their motions page. Why, why would you put a valid HTML button on the page when you know it’s not valid code?


Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 | Religion & Politics

The first referendum of last academic year resolved to give us freedom of speech on campus.

The second referendum banned it.

That amused me. Basically we had one motion protecting freedom of speech after the trouble betwen J-Soc and the PSG. Then we had another motion in the referedum after about descrimination but it also covered religion and suggested that if anyone felt offended, there was a problem.

Now in the first referendum of this year there is a proposed motion “Do you want greater Freedom of Speech on campus?” Anyone else ever feel like we’re going round in circles?

Is sex necessary?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 | Science

I was Googling the spelling of necessary to make sure I had got it right when the top result of the search caught my eye. It was an article on Forbes entitled is sex necessary? It makes the case that sex is important in your overall health.

Benefits include a reduce risk of heart disease, weight loss, improved fitness, reduced depression and less frequent colds and flu.

Democracy in action

Thursday, January 24th, 2008 | Religion & Politics

Despite how jaded I have become by the democratic processes of the union I have actually ended up engaging with one of them.

With the referendum coming up today was the deadline for submitting motions and so I have proposed one, seconded by Kieran in an attempt to solve the problems with The Old Bar.

We have another week to submit amendments before things start moving forward. After that it goes to Union Council, who will probably reject it, then we can attempt to force it through with a petition if we wish.

Revive The Old Bar

This Union notes…

  • LUU has over 30,000 members
  • LUU’s membership is wide and diverse
  • LUU provides a number of bars in order to cater for the social needs of it’s members

This Union believes…

  • LUU should provide for the social needs of all it’s members
  • Many of LUU’s members enjoy a quiet drink in a relaxed atmosphere
  • The Old Bar has now become synonymous with The Terrace in providing a noisier atmosphere

This Union resolves…

  • To reduce noise levels from music and plasma screens in The Old Bar
  • To encourage sound from the plasma screens in The Old Bar to be turned off whenever possible

Now I just need to figure out how this works into my overall plan for world domination.

On the bottom of the world

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008 | Friends

Jack has been deported.

Ok, that’s not true. But having completed his year of study in the UK he has now returned to Australia. And I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say we’re sad to see him go. Blog post after blog post (and now this one) have marked the event and I’m assured the turn-out at the leaving party on Sunday (which I missed due to work) was impressive.

So, the question comes down to this. Circle trip to Canberra anyone?

Heresy of the highest levels

Monday, January 21st, 2008 | Tech

I’m thinking about renouncing my status as a Sony Ericsson fanboy and switching to a Nokia phone :o.

I was planning on getting the k850i but CNet didn’t like. Unfortunately I tend to let CNet tell me what to think. After all, they said they were an honest bunch of guys.

I got looking at the Nokia N95 8GB which seems rather snazzy and has somewhat captured my imagination. While I’m sure the k850i has many of these features it has lured me with promise of GPS, wifi, 8GB internal storage, a 5 megapixel camera, no annoying camera lens that opens every time you take it out of your pocket and best of all – a standard 3.5mm audio jack.

It’s not all good. The battery life will be shockingly bad which will be annoying (might have to keep a travel phone around, I’ve just replaced the battery in my k800i and am now enjoying only having to charge ever 5 days or so). Also the GPS downloads maps on the fly which means monster data usage. This does however give me an excuse to pay for the mobile internet dealie (£7.50 for 120mb a month bandwidth).

If I do go with the Nokia it means sticking with Vodaphone as o2 want £100 for it on the same priced price plan which means I still won’t be getting a signal in Stylus. But on the plus side I will continue to get a signal in my own home :D.

Take that, Facebook!

Monday, January 21st, 2008 | Tech

Is there anything more annoying than when you type out a long message to someone on Facebook, click send, it disables the text editor so you can’t edit or even select and copy the text you’ve just written – and then the AJAX request fails and you loose your message.

Obviously that is a rhetorical question. Siblings, the itching of chickenpox and Big Brother are just a number of the many, many items more annoying than that. But I don’t feel such towering feets of annoyance really detract from quite how annoying it is when that happens on Facebook.

But no more! With my Web Developer add-on I just simply select forms from the toolbar and then click “enable form fields” to have all disabled elements enabled once again. Chew on that one Mark Zuckerberg :D.

Don’t turn away (come out swinging)

Monday, January 21st, 2008 | Life

Guess the song. (Seriously, make some really obvious guesses or you’re going to be kicking yourself when you Google the title of this post).

Saturday saw the first Wendy House arrive so we – we referring to the whole Sarann crew (or are we Norman and the Jets; or are we the Chris Worfolk experience featuring Michelle) kicked things off with a warm up at Circle Party Central. The night included some drinking, some spinning of the old records on my shiny decks and even some karaoke (an event we hope to repeat under the new name of “An audience with Bryony Gaskell”).

It was good to see a few people I haven’t seen in a while. Notably, Sophie who has to strain with the problems of post-graduation life and Fonze who has now come crawling back to his real friends (what’s the emoticon code for sunglasses? :p). Plus any excuse to use my sound system is a good one – as Norm correctly points out, the whole point of the night was just to play Cascada really.

Wendy was good as always. I got bought a drink by a girl at the bar which was rather cool. Evanescence – Bring Me to Live was just coming on and being desperate to get back to the dance floor (she explained) she asked if I was being served and if so could she put her drinks through with me). I told her I wasn’t being served and she took this to mean “I am being served I just don’t want to help you” and bribed me with a drink. I then went on to explain it still wasn’t going to save her anytime but that was my limit. At some point, it’s just not worth trying to avoid a free drink ;).

All in all (how often does the last paragraph in my blog post end with those three words?) it was a good night and indeed a very good 3 days. With exams overshadowing the whole of Chrismukkah (not to mention the holidays themselves never really being a nice time) it was good to properly unwind a little. Ah well, back to the grind I guess.

Freezer space

Saturday, January 19th, 2008 | Life

Having had a battle every time I want to stick some food in the freezer because of how full they always are I have finally seized my opportunity and monopolised the freezer with ready meals :D.

Freezer at Burchett Place

Ok so, it’s a bit of a posed picture. Some of them are stacked vertically to hide everyone else’s food behind them. But it still amuses me :D.

The scriptful web

Thursday, January 17th, 2008 | Tech, Thoughts

Having been backward compatibility testing my Web 2.0 apps without JavaScript I have several times now forgotten to turn JavaScript back on before heading off to browse some other websites. It’s interesting to see which websites work and which don’t.

Facebook is the notable website I have spent the most time on and it’s a fairly mixed bag. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t. For instance you can poke someone back without JavaScript but you cannot accept or reject requests without it. Netvibes (rightfully so probably) didn’t work at all without JavaScript. WordPress seemed to work fine for the most part though I didn’t do anything other than start typing this post.

Which led me on to thinking, will we reach a point where you need JavaScript? Whether or not you agree with the increased use of JavaScript on the web (aka Web 2.0 really, and don’t get me wrong, I do agree with it, that is just my token comment to keep Mr. O’Shea happy :p), it is happening. The question is, how far will it go? How long will people keep writing code backward compatible with non-JavaScript? Indefinitely or have they already stopped doing it? Something to think about.